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Oracle Asks OpenOffice Community Members To Leave 589

Posted by Soulskill
from the pack-your-junk dept.
Elektroschock writes "In an unprecedented move with respect to other forks, Oracle asked the founders of the Document Foundation and LibreOffice to leave the OpenOffice.org Community Council. Apparently there is a conflict of interest, which concerns the Oracle employees."
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Oracle Asks OpenOffice Community Members To Leave

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  • by gblfxt (931709) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:29AM (#33922220)

    seems ubuntu is switching to libreoffice soon.

    http://www.techdrivein.com/2010/09/future-ubuntu-releases-will-be-shipped.html [techdrivein.com]

  • by maweki (999634) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:32AM (#33922234) Homepage
    Didn't Libre Office asked Oracle to join their Board of Directors?

    But I did not see that coming
  • by mister_playboy (1474163) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:12AM (#33922356)

    LibreOffice is a fork of OO.org that was started because of Oracle's buyout of Sun. They asked Oracle to donate the OO.org name to their fork, and now Oracle has kicked them out of the OO.org community counsel. Hard to say if it's good or bad, but it looks to be the start of a fight.

  • by Znork (31774) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:29AM (#33922610)

    Or is it as easy as releasing a "new version" with a new version number and including an "updated license"?

    If they have required copyright assignment for outside contributions, which OO has, it's that easy. For projects without copyright assignment it's much more difficult, as you have to have the agreement of all contributors (excepting automatic update clauses like the GPLs GPL version X or later).

    Of course, you cannot retroactively change the license, so previously released code would remain viable to use for a fork.

  • by Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:48AM (#33922694) Homepage

    Actually no.
    Slashdot is FOSS centered but also covers a multitude of other sins, look at the one on near-nuclear disasters in the US for example.
    My background knowledge of this particular story could be summarised as

    1. Sun bought Star Office several years back
    2. Sun released the Star Office sources and founded OpenOffice, while still releasing a non-free version under the original name
    3. OpenOffice became more and more important over the years, but the lion's share of the development was funded by Sun
    4. Oracle bought MySQL but this did not work out too well. A central problem was that MySQL is a free competitor to Oracle's main product (simplifying things a lot!!)
    5. Oracle bought Sun, thus acquiring Java and OpenOffice. They were not the reason for the buyout.
    6. loss?

    That is simply general knowledge and does not adequately explain the background to this confrontation.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:53AM (#33922708) Homepage

    The board seems to be composed of Oracle Employees, and 3 independents (possibly more who were not present?)

    No, there are just three independents on the council. Without those three it's 100% run by Oracle, and while they may find bodies to fill the seats nobody will think they have any real influence over Oracle. In practice it's the community council that is being dissolved, at least the "community" part of it.

  • by jonbryce (703250) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @05:45AM (#33922818) Homepage

    Sun bought MySQL. Oracle bought Sun and MySQL came along with it.
    Anyway, Oracle DB and MySQL are not really competitors. Oracle would be overkill for a typical MySQL project, and MySQL wouldn't be up to the task of replacing a typical Oracle installation.

  • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @06:15AM (#33922892) Journal

    Suppose you spend over 10 years on making an awesome program

    Who exactly are you claiming did this? The people who originally created StarOffice, which became OpenOffice, worked for Star Division, a company that was bought by Sun. Since then, the contributions were roughly 80% Sun employees, 15% Novell, 5% everyone else. OpenOffice has been open source for less than ten years, so the only people who can claim to have spent 10 years working on it have been paid to do so by Star Division, Sun, and Oracle.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday October 17, 2010 @07:07AM (#33923048) Homepage Journal

    I would assume that Novell will merge oo-go into libreoffice and add their support to libreoffice.

    Go-OO code being rolled in was part of the initial annoucement of the fork.

  • by Xtifr (1323) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @07:48AM (#33923154) Homepage

    Call me crazy but I can see the conflict of interest.

    Ok, you're crazy. This isn't like proprietary software where everyone's in direct competition, and every user counts because every user is another dollar in your coffers. This is open source where code and be freely shared, and could flow from OO to LO and back again, and the raw number of users doesn't matter as long as you can maintain a critical level of developers. How many people will use both? Could be a lot. I've jumped back and forth between GNU Emacs and XEmacs a number of times in my life. I hop between browsers and desktops on a regular basis. I've even switched between Linux and BSD more than once. I've contributed to competing projects in the past both so that more users would be able to benefit from my work, and to keep my own options open. I'm not seeing any conflict of interest here unless Oracle has some sort of sinister plans for OO, and they know that the people involved in LO wouldn't want to participate.

  • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lennie (16154) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @08:03AM (#33923188) Homepage

    Well, a large part of LibreOffice came from the http://go-oo.org/ [go-oo.org] project, which had a lot of patches for OpenOffice which didn't (yet?) get accepted to OpenOffice.org.

    The version at go-oo was actually the one that was used by most Linux-distributions, it is pretty much the code-base for where LibreOffice started.

  • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:2, Informative)

    by multipartmixed (163409) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @08:23AM (#33923238) Homepage

    > or from vegans and other super ecofriendly people.

    Vegans are not particularly ecofriendly people. I release as much CH4 consuming vegans as any other mammal by weight.

  • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2010 @08:45AM (#33923314)

    The ratio of Sun contributions to volunteer contributions has a lot to do with rejecting outside patches and making contributers assign all rights to Sun.

  • Re:That does it (Score:3, Informative)

    by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Sunday October 17, 2010 @08:52AM (#33923346) Homepage

    Many cheap hosting companies don't offer PostgreSQL because there's not enough demand for it; there's not enough demand because people don't know where to host the result, and therefore don't develop against it. You have to break that dependency one person at a time to start reversing the network effect here. There's a list of PostgreSQL Hosting companies [postgresql.org] that includes multiple entries in the sub $10/month range. So while it's still true that most cheap hosting companies don't support it yet, if you demand true software freedom from your database there are inexpensive hosting options available. And more people are waking up to realize this is an important enough reason to start migrating to PostgreSQL every day.

  • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:2, Informative)

    by settantta (577302) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @08:52AM (#33923348)
    Wake up. Sun was assigned the trademark in the USA *after* it had been registered by a private group. This was done so that there would eb sufficient resources to enforce the trademark. Sun was than tasked by the OO.o community to register the trademark in the rest of the world, since they were the only part of the community who had the resources to do so. When Oracle bought Sun, they inherited the ownership of said trademarks. As for the "Document Foundation", I personally as a long term member of the OO.o community (since before version 1.0 was released, actually) see their behaviour as that of a spoilt child who couldn't get its own way. Yes, there is a need for a foundation, but I disagree totally with the way this was done. It looks sneaky and underhanded from where I sit. And no, I do not, and never have, worked for either Sun or Oracle (I happen to be retired, and have lived in Australia my entire life).
  • by Guspaz (556486) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @11:39AM (#33924186)

    "Libre" is French (or Spanish), not Latin. The Latin word is "Liber" (note the "er" versus "re").

  • by Guspaz (556486) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:10PM (#33925526)

    27.3% is not "most of the computing world". In fact, it won't even be the most popular language in computing for long.

    http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm [internetworldstats.com]

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:18PM (#33925562)

    What's funny is that Coca-Cola bottled in America tastes like shit, even though that's its homeland where its capitalist roots lie. But Coca-Cola bottled in many other countries (like various Central American countries) tastes great, since it's made with cane sugar instead of HFCS.

  • by xda (1171531) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:27PM (#33925612)
    According to google translate, "liber" in Latin means "the book of"... libre is a Latin derived word.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratis_versus_Libre [wikipedia.org] is a page that offers some insight.
  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:38PM (#33925694)

    Actually, if Oracle were smart, they'd realize they DO have a good use for OOo, which is to unseat MS's virtual monopoly in office software. Oracle is no friend of MS, and MS Office is MS's cash cow and one of the main reasons (Outlook/Exchange being the other) why Windows is basically mandatory for corporate desktop computers. If OOo became an accepted replacement, or better yet the preferred office suite (as Firefox has become in browsers), a lot of companies would no longer really need Windows. If Oracle took over a popular Linux distro (one good for corporate environments), and worked hard on OOo to make it a flagship office suite, they could very well push MS out of the corporate environment.

    However, in my view, Oracle's corporate culture and leadership would never be able to pull this off successfully. Their leadership has too much of an ego problem, and their corporate culture doesn't encourage innovation or success. I still remember when Gosling left Oracle, and said that one thing that pissed him off was the employee appreciation event for Sun employees which Oracle canceled, because apparently Oracle has a policy of never having employee appreciation events. Yeah, that sounds like a great place to work...

  • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Shawn is an Asshole (845769) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:25PM (#33926006)

    From the FAQ: [documentfoundation.org]

    Q: What does this announcement mean to other derivatives of OpenOffice.org?

    A: We want The Document Foundation to be open to code contributions from as many people as possible. We are delighted to announce that the enhancements produced by the Go-OOo team will be merged into LibreOffice, effective immediately. We hope that others will follow suit.

  • by kyz (225372) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @06:26PM (#33926684) Homepage

    It was a pejorative retasked to insult homosexuals from the start.

    Neither of you are entirely right.

    "gay" has meant "full of joy and mirth" or "brilliant, showy" since around the 13th century. Victorians used the words "mandrake" or "buggerer" to disparage homosexual men. Or just "homosexual"; that was bad enough.

    However, "gay" began to take on the meaning of "promiscuous" or "male prostitute" (who sleeps with men or women, not exclusively men) around the late 19th century. It took until the 1930s to become established as slang for homosexual men.

    Source: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=gay [etymonline.com]

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